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€20.5 million for 8 new UK environment projects
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Published on 20-07-12

The European Commission has approved €20.5 million in funding for 8 new UK projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, climate change and information and communication on environmental issues.

    €20.5 million for 8 new UK environment projects

    Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "In this 20th anniversary year of the LIFE programme and the Habitats Directive, I’m delighted to announce the continuing support for high quality environmental projects across the EU. These latest LIFE+ projects continue a trend, started two decades ago, for innovative and best-practice actions furthering nature conservation, improving the environment and tackling climate change."

    The UK recipients are..

    UP&FORWARD COMS (Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority): The project will demonstrate how waste policy can be more effectively implemented by municipalities through changing behaviour using targeted communications in specific low-performing areas identified by waste collection data and local demographic statistics. The project will help understand how to evaluate, monitor and develop policies that can only be delivered by active engagement with the public.

    CSP (WWF UK): The CSP project will support the implementation of EU environmental and maritime policy, using a stakeholder-led approach to contribute to the development of marine strategies, particularly under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, for the achievement of good environmental status of marine waters. The project will develop appropriate stakeholder engagement mechanisms and build stakeholders’ capacities to enable them to support delivery of integrated management; to reduce conflicts between coastal and marine-resource users; and to enhance the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the Celtic Seas Marine Region.

    ACUMEN (Environment Agency of England & Wales): This project will demonstrate how methane from expired and non-operational (closed) landfill sites can be captured. Economic and technical uncertainties have so far hampered the wide take-up of new technologies to manage methane emissions from closed landfill sites. 'ACUMEN' will show how these can be overcome through a combination of innovative technologies and techniques, and will establish the technical and economic viability of capturing, using and mitigating methane from closed landfill sites. Relevant to climate change.

    N2K Wales ( Countryside Council for Wales): The aim of the project is to develop a programme for the management and restoration of all Natura 2000 network sites in Wales. The project would gather information on the current risks to Natura 2000 in Wales, evaluate existing management practices, identify new management approaches, evaluate current and potential new funding arrangements, and prepare Natura 2000 Action Plans, the sum of which constitutes the Natura 2000 Programme. The implementation of the programme would be coordinated via an After-LIFE Implementation Plan. Various communications tools would ensure a proper dissemination of the findings.

    IPENS (Natural England): This project will develop a programmed approach for achieving target conservation status on all Natura 2000 network sites in England. It will work with key stakeholders at national and regional levels, in the public, private and voluntary sectors, to help them adopt and implement this strategic approach.

    Scilly rat removal (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds): The overall purpose of the project is to maintain and enhance the conservation value of the “Isles of Scilly” Natura 2000 site by removing brown rats from two key islands within this SPA. The main target species, storm petrels and the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), are a key component of the internationally important seabird assemblage on the isles.

    PIP GB (Scottish Natural Heritage): This project aims to safeguard the future of the most important freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) populations in Great Britain, by tackling threats and implementing best practice conservation methods. The project plans to restore the habitat of freshwater pearl mussels and salmonids in selected river catchments within Great Britain; to secure the long-term survival of existing freshwater pearl mussel populations and prevent their further degradation; and to raise awareness at local, national and international level of freshwater pearl mussel conservation issues.

    Securing the stone-curlew (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds): The project plans to deliver a comprehensive, integrated suite of communications actions, aimed primarily at farmers and other land managers, to encourage the adoption of management practices beneficial to the stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) The overall objective of the project is to secure the future of the species in the UK by making it much less dependent on conservation work than at present, and therefore much more self-sustaining.

    Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "In this 20th anniversary year of the LIFE programme and the Habitats Directive, I’m delighted to announce the continuing support for high quality environmental projects across the EU. These latest LIFE+ projects continue a trend, started two decades ago, for innovative and best-practice actions furthering nature conservation, improving the environment and tackling climate change."

    The Commission received 1 078 applications from the 27 EU Member States in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in July 2011. Of these, 202 were selected for co-funding through the programme’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication. The selected projects are highlighted in the annex to this press release (see MEMO/12/585).

    LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. Of the 268 proposals received, the Commission selected 76 projects for funding from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Situated in 22 Member States, they represent a total investment of €241.8 million, of which the EU will provide €136 million. 71 are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and Natura 2000. The other five tackle wider biodiversity issues.

    LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 607 proposals received, the Commission selected 113 projects for funding from a wide range of public and private sector organisations. The winning projects represent a total investment of €258.4 million, of which the EU will provide some €124.4 million.

    Under this component, the Commission will contribute more than €31.4 million to 23 projects directly tackling climate change, with a total budget of €67.8 million. In addition, many other projects focussing on other issues will also have an indirect impact on greenhouse emissions. Waste and water are two other important areas of focus with respectively, 29 projects and 19 projects selected.

    LIFE+ Information and Communication projects disseminate information and raise the profile of environmental issues and provide training and awareness-raising for the prevention of forest fires. Of the 203 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 13 projects from a range of public and private sector nature and/or environment organisations. The projects are based in nine Member States and represent a total investment of €16.2 million, of which the EU will provide some €7.2 million.

    Background

    LIFE+ is the European financial instrument for the environment and has a total budget of €2.143 billion for the period 2007-2013. The Commission launches one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year.

    For more information:

    See the annex for a summary and contact address of each of the new projects, broken down by country

    For information on LIFE+

    It is also possible to contact the relevant national authorities

    Related Links

    Last update: 24/07/2012  |Top